10 Composition Tutorials For More Powerful Photographs


Composition in photography can transform an ordinary image into an extraordinary one and can keep the viewers engaged for some time. A lot of photographers struggle with composition and arguably it is one of the most difficult aspects of photography. Composition techniques or guidelines are there to give you ideas of what techniques can help with creating great pieces of art, and one needs to practice making use of the various guidelines and apply them in their day-to-day photography.

Composition is arranging or organizing the various elements in the frame to create an eye-catching photograph so that the viewers are drawn to the most important part of the frame or are guided through the frame as if telling a story. You tell a story or create emotions and convey your visually perceived story through a photograph. You do not have to stick to the composition guidelines at all times, but it is great to learn them and start with compelling photography and as you progress, you can break the rules to present your story.

In this article, we have 10 tutorials that will help you get your hands on composition techniques, so you can capture better photographs.

11 Thoughts: An Introduction To Photographic Composition

Composition in photography is very similar to a painting that a painter creates and the only difference is that the painter starts from scratch, using a blank canvas, whereas for photographers the canvas already exists, but the photographer needs to decide what to keep in the frame and eliminate from the frame. In this article from B&H Explora, Todd Vorenkamp shares 11 thoughts on photography composition.

person walking towards trees
Photo by Lane Jackman

Defining Composition In Photography & How to Learn It

To learn compositions, you need to know what composition is and why it is important in photography. Composition is important to all genres of photography and different techniques are used based on what is presented in front of you and sometimes based on your visual storytelling. This tutorial by Photo Traces talks about how to master compositions in photography, composition for landscape photography, some practical steps to learning compositions, and finally an exercise with a real-life scenario.

brown and green mountain beside body of water during daytime
Photo by Justin W

Composition In Photography: A Complete (And Modern) Guide

Once you have understood the basic guidelines in composition and have a good understanding of what composition means in photography, you may want to get into more advanced composition guidelines. This tutorial by Digital Photography School covers most of the composition techniques that can be applied in our daily photography workflow.

woman standing beside railing at the bay near trees
Photo by Sergio Rodriguez – Portugues del Olmo

A Beginner’s Guide To Basic Photo Composition

Sometimes a quick run-through of the composition guidelines may not be helpful especially if you are a beginner or if you are looking for detailed information to understand the technique better. If you are looking for detailed information on each composition guideline, then this tutorial from Expert Photography has a bunch of composition guidelines, each with a link to the full tutorial.

brown grass field near mountain during daytime
Photo by Milo Weiler

Ultimate Guide To Composition In Photography

As you advance with composition in photography, you will be combining composition guidelines and also combining elements in the composition, by putting them together to create a story in a way that these elements complement each other. This tutorial from Iceland Photo Tours has many composition concepts and principles along with videos to explain them better. There are also some tips for finding the right composition and other ways to improve your composition skills in photography.

woman standing in front of white building
Photo by Leo Manjarrez

25 Tips For Perfect Photography Composition

Composition does not just stop with arranging the elements and framing the scene in front of you. There are a few more things that you will need to pay attention to and include or avoid when composing a photograph. This guide from PHLearn will help you to start consistently taking better photographs, no matter what subject you are photographing.

camera framed between trees
Photo by Fidel Fernando

Photography Composition

When composing an image, our main purpose is to guide the viewer to the main part of the frame or to the subject. By following composition guidelines, one has a better chance of capturing a good image. If you would like to learn a few composition guidelines with the help of simple illustrations, this course from Karl Taylor Education explains a few composition techniques along with easy-to-understand illustrations. They even have a completely free course along with a quiz covering the basics of photography which you can refer to if interested.

silhouette of 2 people walking on sidewalk during daytime
Photo by Ray S

Photograph Composition: Examples And Exercises

If you are someone who enjoys going through exercises to test your knowledge and skills, then it is always a good idea to check your knowledge level or understanding of the subject, to know you have learned the right thing. This tutorial from Ultimate Photo Tips has six exercises along with answers so you can check to see how much you have understood about composition techniques.

shallow focus photo of brown house
Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel

10 Composition Tips For Taking Better iPhone Photos

If you are an iPhone photographer, you will still need to follow composition guidelines to create great photos using your phone. Pointing the camera at something and taking a snapshot is easy but slowing down and composing a shot that looks visually appealing will hold the viewer's attention. In this tutorial from iPhone Photography School, there are 10 composition tips for capturing better iPhone photos. Of course, the composition guidelines when using a camera and a smartphone are the same.

person talking selfie of sea shorre
Photo by Nigel Tadyanehondo

8 Composition Photography Mistakes To Avoid

When composing images, sometimes we focus just on the composition part that we forget to look at the edges, the background, or other distracting elements in the frame. If you are careful and take a few precautions, then you will be able to capture photographs that are more interesting. This tutorial by Click It Up A Notch talks about some composition mistakes every beginner should avoid.

palm tree near house during daytime
Photo by Kiona Lee

Further Resources:

About Author

Dahlia is a stock photographer and full time educator at Light Stalking. You can find her on Gurushots and see some of her more popular articles at The American Society of Media Photographers. Get to know her better here.

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